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  • Review: Wynton Marsalis’s Urban Symphony for the Philharmonic

    Posted on December 30th, 2016 in Review

    The next time Wynton Marsalis writes a symphony for the New York Philharmonic, he might want to plan from the start to keep it well under an hour. At least if he wants to assure that the Philharmonic will be able to perform it complete. Timing was a factor in 2010, when Alan Gilbert led the American premiere of Mr. Marsalis’s Symphony No. 3, “Swing Symphony,” on a season-opening gala program. Because it was being televised on “Live From Lincoln Center,” the concert had to come in under two hours. So Mr. Gilbert dropped the first of Mr. Marsalis’s six movements, which still left some 45 minutes of music. (The symphony was performed in full the following season, and then again, with yet another movement added, in 2013.)   Keep reading »

  • Jazz at Lincoln Center and Rockefeller Foundation Pair Up for School Tour

    Posted on July 31st, 2016 in Education

    Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Rockefeller Foundation have announced a new education outreach program for students in disadvantaged schools. The program, “Jazz for Young People: The Resilient Cities Tour,” will connect live jazz performances to an American history curriculum, reaching 60 schools in five cities: Chicago; New Orleans; St. Louis; San Juan, P.R.; and Sydney, Australia.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis’s ‘Spaces,’ a Kinetic Series of Zoological Portraits

    Posted on April 3rd, 2016 in Review

    The kazoos cropped up in the 10th and final movement of “Spaces,” an episodic suite by Wynton Marsalis that had its world premiere at the Rose Theater on Friday. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra was swinging light and fast as it happened, bzz-bzz-bzz-bzz-bzz, in a busy rush. It was a cute and clever flourish, in a piece titled “Bees Bees Bees.” And it was also an act of evocation that reflected the larger theme of the suite.   Keep reading »

  • Carlos Henriquez Radiates Gratitude in a South Bronx Homecoming

    Posted on September 13th, 2015 in Review

    Nearly every note from Carlos Henriquez, the bassist for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, is cool, clear, judicious, full of body and intent. His sound doesn’t grasp or rush; informed by the economy of Afro-Latin tumbao bass patterns, it connects and assists. It has its moral priorities straight.   Keep reading »

  • Jazz at Lincoln Center and Sony Music Team Up for Blue Engine Records

    Posted on June 29th, 2015 in Profiles & Interviews

    Jazz at Lincoln Center has shelves upon shelves of recordings from concerts it has presented since its founding in 1987, including a studio recording featuring the pianist Chick Corea, a musical Mass with a gospel choir written for the 200th anniversary of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York and concerts with the saxophonists Sherman Irby and Ted Nash.   Keep reading »

  • Wayne Shorter Goes Solo With the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

    Posted on May 15th, 2015 in Review

    When the saxophonist Wayne Shorter has come through town over the past 15 years or so, he has generally been with his quartet, a group that plays soul-drilling, gonzo-Zen interventions on about 50 years’ worth of his music. There is much open space in these performances, much insight and mystery, a settling into a zone between direction and indirection. Apart from Mr. Shorter’s stature as a small-group composer in jazz — the best, pretty much — the alert and unscripted way the quartet operates has for many listeners represented a current ideal for how jazz works and what it can contain: immediacy, collectivity, discipline, freedom.   Keep reading »

  • A Latin Musician Translates a Meeting of Cultures

    Posted on November 15th, 2014 in Review | 2

    The reality that jazz and Afro-Latin music have been mixed for a century can sometimes lead to the myth that a musician trained in one tradition is effectively trained in the other, and that fluency runs both ways at all times, in all places. And so you might have looked at an advertisement for the Panamanian singer Rubén Blades collaborating with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, as he is doing through Saturday night at the Rose Theater, and thought, sure, Latin jazz.   Keep reading »

  • An Oratorio of History With History of Its Own

    Posted on February 25th, 2013 in Review

    By the time of Wynton Marsalis’s 1994 oratorio, “Blood on the Fields,” written for three singers and a 15-piece band, his scale for musical structure and organizational planning was big and getting bigger. He was 32 then. Jazz at Lincoln Center hadn’t yet become a constituent part of the larger Lincoln Center organization, and the idea of a dedicated theater for jazz hadn’t even been proposed. But he had already written extended works and had developed a framework for identifying and explaining jazz’s standards of excellence, and for linking the music to the history of black Americans and the notion of cultural survival. Never before had such power resided within one jazz musician, and those who doubted him wanted to be impressed on every possible level — especially after “Blood” won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for music.   Keep reading »

  • ‘Cotton Club Parade’ Will March Onto Broadway

    Posted on January 10th, 2013 in Concerts | 1

    After two popular engagements at City Center, “Cotton Club Parade” – a musical revue celebrating the Harlem nightclub during the Duke Ellington era – will move to Broadway this fall, its producers announced on Wednesday. With minimal spoken text, this 90-minute show recreates many of the big-band swing and blues numbers of the Cotton Club during the 1920s and ‘30s, with the score including works by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields (“I Can’t Give You Anything but Love”), Harold Arlen (“Stormy Weather,” “I’ve Got the World on a String”) and Ellington (“Rockin’ in Rhythm,” “Cotton Club Stomp”).   Keep reading »

  • Just One Bishop at High Church of Jazz Purity

    Posted on December 7th, 2012 in Profiles & Interviews

    LAST spring, after Wynton Marsalis took over the reins of Jazz at Lincoln Center on a temporary basis because the executive director had resigned, he hinted, as he shook hands with donors at a gala fund-raiser, that he was unhappy with the way the institution had been managed. He likened it to an orchestra without a leader or a musical score.   Keep reading »